“Anointed to Serve”
Submitted by Steve Gerich
Key text: Romans 12:1
I decided to go out for hockey my senior year of high school. I had never played in an organized league before so I had a lot to learn. I got to play some but I was never very good.
Twenty-five years later a friend suggested I play in the annual alumni game. Not wanting to embarrass myself I said, “No – I don’t even have a hockey stick.” A few days later I came home from work and there, leaning against my door was a brand new stick with a bow on it. The note said, “Now you can play.” And I did.
You can’t play hockey without a stick. It enables you to move the puck “down ice”, to “stick-handle” around the opposition, to defend your goal and to shoot at the opponent’s goal – to score! But most importantly, it is used to pass the puck to others. It is never to be used for my benefit alone. The gift was given to me to participate on the team.
Jesus said to the disciples in Acts 1:6-8 that they would “receive power when the Holy Spirit” came upon them and “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”.
The work of those who follow Jesus (the church) and the Holy Spirit go hand in hand. True, the Holy Spirit does give us a fresh sense of God’s presence, comfort and hope. But God’s Spirit was given to enable His followers to take into all the world, the news that Jesus is Lord and empower us to the task of implementing the Kingdom of God – to live as God’s people. Today, we share in the life and continuing work of Jesus. His work is redemptive, bringing healing and hope to the sick and the poor, and justice and freedom to the oppressed. We serve as He served.
The gift of the hockey stick was not given just for me. It allowed me to participate in “feeding” the puck to others so that the team could prevail.
We have missed the point if we think that the gift of the Holy Spirit was given for “our” benefit alone. We are enabled and empowered to live on behalf of the world – God’s world. Look around. The needs are everywhere. God is reclaiming His world. And you and I, through the leading and empowering of the Holy Spirit, share in that work.